Exile Chapter 87
The Su family soon received the news about Zhang Su’s marriage. It was Zhang Su’s father who came to tell them in person. At that time, in the face of all Su family members and Xu Qian, he was very happily clapped on Su Lingchuan’s shoulder as he said, “Old partner, I will have a grandson soon.”
In the next few days, Su Qingbai went to see Xu Qian. As a result, Xu Qian looked calm while wholeheartedly coaxing Su Qin, completely lacking the bold enthusiasm to chase Zhang Su as he did previously in the border town.
“I didn’t expect that Qinqin would be so close to Xu Qian. Xu Qian’s treatment of Qinqin is no worse than that of real father and daughter.” Su Qingbai went to the stone table and sat down as he said to Su Lingchuan on the side, after watching Su Qin giggle in Xu Qian’s arms.
Xu Qian stayed for Zhang Su. Now that Zhang Su got married, Xu Qian would definitely not continue to live here.
“Yes.” Su Lingchuan put down his book and sighed, “We always bother Xu Qian. Our family is very sorry for inconveniencing him.”
Su Lingchuan was also very upset. Xu Qian helped them to coax their child all day long and also paid for his own daily expenses. He even spent a lot of money on Su Qin, aside from food and accommodation. But how much would one spend on food and accommodation in this small farm?
Although Su Qingbai was regretful about the matter of Zhang Su and Xu Qian, but it’s their business after all, so he couldn’t interfere.
In the blink of an eye, spring returned to the good earth and Su Qingbai had started his own business.
Su Qingbai had saved some money before, and plus the money Zhou Chang paid him back; he had about 1500 taels. Su Qingbai used this money to open a tavern in the capital city. Because the price of land in the capital city was expensive, he couldn’t afford to buy it, and he was also distressed to rent it. In addition, he wanted to stay away from his former life circle and conveniently able to visit his parents outside the capital city, so he rented a shop at the gate of the city.
The capital was the most prosperous city. Every day, many people from all over the country rushed to the capital city, so Su Qingbai’s business was not bad even though it’s just opened.
Su Qingbai hired a shopkeeper to take care of the business. Because Jiang Mao was a little busy, he took the two children to his side, sometimes looking at them in the shop, sometimes taking them to live in Su family’s farmstead.
On Jiang Mao’s side, it was still tense.
Perhaps spring was warm, the old emperor’s withered and rotten body was slowly getting better.
Jiang Mao was a little worried about this. The old Emperor didn’t like him, and he couldn’t leave――The matter of setting Caicai as heir was supposed to be handled by the fifth prince. As a result, he didn’t know what the fifth prince was thinking, whenever they spoke of this, the fifth prince always said that the Imperial Father was awake, and such matters should be decided by the Imperial Father himself.
With no other choice, Jiang Mao could only start to plan his own way out.
In fact, when the old emperor woke up, the fifth prince was more anxious than Jiang Mao. As early as when the old emperor was still in good health, the emperor said frankly that the fifth prince had neither the ability to govern the country nor the ability to accommodate others, and could not bear the responsibility of being an emperor.
The third prince chosen by the old emperor was mediocre in talent, but he had tolerance. He even dared to use such people as Jiang Mao and Du Cheng.
“Fourth Elder Brother.” Jiang Jun stormed into Jiang Mao’s study without knocking at the door.
“What are you doing in such a hurry?” Jiang Mao put down his brush and frowned at him.
Not long ago, after Su Qingbai’s business gradually became official, Jiang Mao moved back to Yue Wang Residence.
Jiang Jun stooped to catch his breath before he said, “Sixth Elder Brother revolted.”
Jiang Mao immediately looked over and listened to him carefully.
Jiang Jun continued: “I heard that he secretly planned to force the emperor to abdicate, but he was reported and fifth elder brother’s people even found the Dragon Robe.” Then, after seeing Jiang Mao was frowning, he said: “but how can it be? Usually, Sixth Elder Brother is the most timid man, especially when Imperial Father is in good health. Compared with Fifth Elder Brother, it is clear that he has a better chance. How can he have the brains to revolt and even be discovered and reported?”
Speaking in a hurry, Jiang Jun, who had gotten the news and had some confusion in his mind, suddenly felt that things were clear. He immediately stared at Jiang Mao and said, “can it be that? This is Fifth Elder Brother…”
Jiang Jun didn’t say anything later, but Jiang Mao knew what he was going to say.
He frowned. “Now we don’t know what happened. We can’t believe the rumors from outside. Wait until things are clear.” These words of Jiang Mao were considered to have the meaning of acknowledging with Jiang Jun’s words.
After saying the bad news, Jiang Mao stood up, spit out a cavity of dullness, put away the important letters on the table and walked out as he said to Jiang Jun, “I’m going out. If you have nothing else, go home.”
Jiang Jun hurriedly followed up, “are you going to see my nephews? That’s right. I haven’t drunk the wine in Qingbai’s tavern for several days.”
Su Qingbai’s wine was specially brewed by Jiang Mao for him. It’s the only one in the capital city.
Late spring, at the tavern.
Before getting off the horse, Jiang Mao saw Su Caicai playing in front of the tavern, and there was a small baby carriage beside him, which inside was Su Caicai’s little brother. Next to them, the maidservant, who took care of them, watched him from time to time, afraid that this little shorty would run away if he wasn’t on watch. Then, from time to time again, she also looked at that little one, afraid that the little one, who sitting down would urinate.
Jiang Mao walked forward with a smile, suddenly picked up the big one, and put him on his shoulder.
Surprised, Su Caicai cried out “yah~” first, before he saw Jiang Mao and then rode on his Dad’s shoulders as hugged his Dad’s head as he tenderly shouted, “daddy~”
Jiang Mao supported his little butt, then went to the baby carriage, picked up the little one and put Su Caicai on his shoulder down. He walked into the tavern with each child in his hands.
In the tavern, Su Qingbai was looking at the account, turning over the account book while writing with a brush on a paper from time to time.
Jiang Mao saw that he was serious and didn’t interrupt him. Holding two fat children, he quietly walked behind Su Qingbai.
Looking at Su Qingbai’s penmanship, writing down one by one word, Jiang Mao couldn’t help the black line on his face. He put Su Caicai down, held Jiang Fanfan in one hand and knocked on the paper written by Su Qingbai in the other hand. “You haven’t written many characters in all. There are even three wrong characters. Are you still the son of a top scholar?”
Su Qingbai was shocked and abruptly raised his writing brush. When Su Qingbai saw it was Jiang Mao, he laughed. He was never ashamed of not being good at studying. “I haven’t touched books for a long time. It’s understandable.”
As they spoke, Jiang Fanfan in Jiang Mao’s arms was unwilling to be left alone and he stretched out his paw to lightly scratch at Su Qingbai.
Su Qingbai looked over at him after he was scratched, then laughed ‘pfft’. There was a bit of ink between Jiang Fanfan’s eyebrows, which was very striking on his white and tender face. This was just what Su Qingbai had thrown on him when he accidentally lifted his writing brush.
After laughing, Su Qingbai hurriedly took him to the back for washing, and Jiang Mao followed after with Su Caicai in his arms.
This night, Jiang Mao didn’t go back. He slept all night here, playing with his two sons in the first half of the night, and Su Qingbai in the second half of the night.
After being squeezed overnight, Jiang Mao had to go to the court the next morning.
In the early morning court session, there was an unexpected calm. There was no final conclusion about the matter of the sixth prince. The old emperor was not able to go to the court. As for the fifth prince, he wanted to leave himself aside and so the both of them did not mention it in the court, and neither did anyone else dared to mention it.
Back to the Yue Wang Residence, Jiang Mao was more unintelligible than in the imperial court.
Recently, Lou Jingyu had lived in the residence. At the instigation of Consort Lou, Lou Jingyu had been very attentive; she brought tea, poured water and enquired solicitously about his well-being, even seduced him.
Minister Lou was quite able to speak in front of the old emperor, so at present, Jiang Mao did not intend to touch these two people; Consort lou and Lou Jingyu. Regarding these two people, he tried to hide from them.
Sure enough, as soon as Jiang Mao got back to the Yue Wang Residence, Lou Jingyu rushed over and walked to his side with a smile. “Cousin went to the court early in the morning, I think you haven’t eaten yet. Jingyu cooked some porridge for cousin.” Then she asked the maidservant behind her to bring the porridge.
“I have eaten.” Jiang Mao quickly sat up and walked to the door. “I have something else to do. Please leave soon.” Jiang Mao had some helplessness towards Lou Jingyu, who he couldn’t get rid of.
Jiang Mao was a man who didn’t get angry often. He usually didn’t care about people he didn’t see. Lou Jingyu was usually treated coldly by Jiang Mao. Hearing that his tone today was milder than usual, she felt happy and bravely asked him, “Will cousin be able come back tonight?”
Lou Jingyu was more and more happy. Sure enough, what Aunt said was right. As long as she persevered for a long time, cousin would always be moved by her. The high-grade well-tempered steel turned very pliable temperament.
“Then cousin, I’ll go.” After that, Lou Jingyu left reluctantly.
Lou Jingyu hadn’t taken a few steps, when she heard Jiang Mao.
“Cousin…” Lou Jingyu looked back at Jiang Mao shyly.
Jiang Mao frowned as he said, “next time, you are not allowed to enter my study without permission.” After that, leaving the stiff faced Lou Jingyu, he turned and left.
Jiang Mao went to Jiang Jun’s residence.
“Brother, you are here.” When Jiang Jun heard the announcement from the frightened servant, he lifted up his clothes, limped, and then jumped down the steps at the doorway to meet Jiang Mao himself. At the same time, he didn’t forget to tell the servant to wait, “go, prepare tea and lunch.”
They sat down. Jiang Mao was drinking tea and listening to Jiang Jun saying to him, “Brother, I checked and found out that there is something wrong with sixth elder brother.” He told Jiang Mao about what he had discovered.
Jiang Jun was a smart man. With the help of Jiang Mao, he soon had his own people and confidants.
“What does Fifth Elder Brother wants to do?”
Jiang Mao took a look at him. “How can I know what he wants to do?” After thinking about it, he couldn’t resist to tell him, “next time, you should be careful. You should be followed by people all the time.”
Jiang Jun understood and he nodded solemnly, “I will pay attention.”
At noon, Jiang Mao had lunch at Jiang Jun’s place. In the evening, when it was dark, Jiang Mao slowly rushed back to Yue Wang Residence.
Exhausted, he walked to his room. As soon as Jiang Mao opened his door, he could smell a kind of fragrance.
Frowning, Jiang Mao walked in.
After a wash, Jiang Mao sat in the room for a while before he felt dizzy and his body began to stir.
Jiang Mao, who had gone through many assassination attempts, was alert. He held a dagger and carefully explored the room.
There was nothing wrong in the room, until he came to the side of the bed.
In bed, Lou Jingyu was half undressed and lying on his bed with thoughts of love written across her face.
Jiang Mao immediately knew what was going on. He frowned and called to the outside: “servant.”
“Lord Wang.” The person coming was a young manservant.
Before, there was a maidservant in the courtyard, who took care of Jiang Fanfan specially. The young maidservant did a good job, so she was taken out by Su Qingbai. Now she was mainly looking after the two children.
Seeing that the person coming was a man, Jiang Mao instructed him after a thought, “carry Miss Lou back to her room.”
“Lord Wang?!” Hearing this, the young manservant fell to his knees.
In this residence, who didn’t know that Miss Lou was the girl who Her Ladyship Lou looked upon for Lord Wang. She might be the Wang’s wife in the future. At present, Lord Wang asked him to take the girl to another room. The young manservant looked at Lou Jingyu’s few clothes and hurriedly bowed his head. That was blasphemous.
Jiang Mao ignored what he thought. Seeing that he was disobedient, Jiang Mao was slightly angry. “Hurry up.”
The young manservant was helpless, trembling to get up and walked to the bedside.
“Wait.” Jiang Mao said suddenly.
The young manservant felt both relieved and happy. Had Lord Wang change his mind?
“Remember to take the quilt out together.” Jiang Mao said with some dislike.